Regulation

You Want a Man with a Slow Hand, A Regulator With a Light Touch

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Federal Communications Commission chief Julius Genachowski wants to regulate broadband as a public utility, and on Thursday his agency will vote on whether to take the first step toward adopting his proposal. If the plan is enacted, Genachowski says he'll use his new powers with a "light touch," though you're forgiven if you suspect his idea of a light touch is not as light as yours. Three out of five commissioners have said they will vote for Thursday's measure, so it's pretty much certain to pass.

Owen Kurtin has more on the legal situation that produced the plan, and Declan McCullagh describes the political context. Bonus reading: my 2008 article on what to expect from Obama's FCC.

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  1. easy touch, if you’re Pointer Sistering.

    1. I’ve got other references you could make for light touch, but no one wants to hear them.

      ‘Cept Epi. Perv.

      1. Let’s hear them!

    2. They also said “lover,” not “regulator.”

      1. The Regulators would be a great name for a race of SciFi villains hell-bent on destroying the universe.

        1. Only if they also have severe diarrhea.

        2. When their battlestar reached Earth Orbit the black armor wearing leader said: “Forget this one, it’s already dead.”

      2. regulator? I bare-ly even knew her!

  2. The Court needs to dethrone the FCC in regards to anything remotely connected to content regulation, period. Whatever justification there might once have been doesn’t exist anymore.

    1. What if I yell “404 Error!” in a crowded blog?

      1. You’d probably be right.

      2. Please, anyone worth their bits knows the correct analog to “fire” is a 503 error, not a 404.

    2. The Court needs to dethrone the FCC in regards to anything remotely connected to content regulation, period. Whatever justification there might once have been doesn’t exist anymore.

      But in the mind of the regulator, this is precisely the time to start controlling content… It’s the wild west out there, and it must be tamed.

      1. Fuck that shit.

        1. Paul is right… Now More Than Ever is the time…

          1. Jesus, the more the guy fucks up, the more they should support him? Did they learn nothing from the right’s mistakes with Bush?

        2. In effect, that’s what I’ll be telling Genachowski in another month or so.

          1. God, I hope so.

          2. How much do you charge for your services?

  3. If their Universal Healthcare requires them to have unfettered access to my health records, I wonder if broadband access will necessitate access to any device I own that touches the internet?

    1. Don’t worry. When the Smart Grid is put into place they’ll have access to everything in your home that uses electricity, forget about the internet.
      Considering how we’re increasing energy consumption while curtailing energy production, demand will soon outstrip supply.
      The Smart Grid will selectively turn off the appliances of those who are less equal so that those who are more equal can have all the electricity that they want.

      1. If only there were some mechanism by which we could determine the distribution of a commodity without government rationing. But, that’s probably why I’m not one of our rulers.

      2. We’re only asking for you to turn off the AC for three months. June, July and August.

        1. To compensate, you can run your A/C all you want in January and February.

          1. Those on/off cycles are going to be hell on my Government Mandated Compact Flourescent Polar Bear Savior Bulbs.

            1. “Comrades!” he cried. “You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. I dislike them myself. Our sole object in taking these things is to preserve our health. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.”

              1. It’s time to start makin bacon.

    2. If their Universal Healthcare requires them to have unfettered access to my health records, I wonder if broadband access will necessitate access to any device I own that touches the internet?

      Worry not, we will make sure all your packets are belong to us are delivered fairly, we just need access to them.

      1. I was just listening to that in my car!

  4. If the plan is enacted, Genachowski says he’ll use his new powers with a “light touch,” though you’re forgiven if you suspect his idea of a light touch is not as light as yours.

    Assume, for the sake of argument, that Genachowski is the all-wise, benevolent regulator he imagines himself to be. Just how, Mr. Genachowski, do you propose to guarantee that all of your successor are similarly wise and benevolent?

    1. Because, now that “the right people are in charge” it’s inconceivable that this could ever change.

      1. They have a mandate! From the people! The right people will be in charge forever now.

        1. Foolish human. Your puny freedoms are no match for our mighty regulations!

    2. Genachowski has forgotten the Iron Law:

      Me today, you tomorrow.

      Don’t give any power to Mr. Genachowski that you wouldn’t want Jerry Falwell to have.

      1. But I’m reasonably confident that Jerry Falwell will never be in power, so what could go wrong?

  5. If the plan is enacted, Genachowski says he’ll use his new powers with a “light touch,”

    And he won’t cum inside you, but will still respect you in the morning.

      1. WOW!!!

        A 22-year-old Natalie Wood naked in a bathtub is as hot as it gets!

        1. See? She can float!

  6. 1) FCC does not regulate the internet.

    Maybe not the FCC per se. Anyway, what does “regulate” even mean?

    2) Dial-up service is subject to the same rules as telephone service.

    And then some.

    3) FCC will refrain from regulating broadband whenever possible, but will step in when necessary to protect consumers and fair competition (the “light touch”).

    Must … Control … Fist … of … Regulation …

    1. Ah… “fair”… the most abused word in the English language.

      1. Soon to be surpassed by ‘justice.’

        1. What about ‘rights’?

  7. If the plan is enacted, Genachowski says he’ll use his new powers with a “light touch

    Another power grab by Obama and his Demoshits?

    1. The correct spelling is Doucheocrats.

    2. Another power grab by government. This shit doesn’t change with parties or presidents.

  8. Well I’ve been waiting, waiting here so long
    But thinking nothing, nothing could go wrong, ooh now I know
    She has a built in ability
    To take everything she sees
    And now it seems I’m falling, falling for her.

    She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
    She reaches in, and grabs right hold of your heart
    She seems to have an invisible touch yeah
    It takes control and slowly tears you apart.

  9. If the plan is enacted, Genachowski says he’ll use his new powers with a “light touch,”

    That’s what the priest said.

    1. YOU LIE!

    2. He was just administering extreme unction.

  10. ” Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure. On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be?”

    1. It’s ironic that the guy who wrote this was a life-long socialist.

      He apparently wanted the RIGHT socialists in power.

      1. I believe Orwell became disenchanted with socialists later in his life.

      2. If I interpret his history correctly he didn’t really want anyone in power. He wanted the socialist utopia where everyone works (voluntarily) together to form a perfect society. Animal Farm and 1984 weren’t criticisms of socialism but rather warnings about what socialism could become, namely totalitarianism. What I find ironic is he never seemed to take that final step and recognize that what he wrote about in those books was the inevitable result of socialism. He never seemed to grasp that the socialist utopia could never be achieved given human nature.

        1. At least he didn’t advocate totalitarianism as a “means to an end” as seems to be in vogue. . .again. Have we learned nothing from the past?

          1. ProL,

            No. No, we haven’t.

            (Well, we have. But evidently not anyone else).

            1. Sadly, you are correct.

        2. Universal lobotomies are our only hope.

  11. Hmm, I see throttling internet speeds to IP addresses that frequent certain libertarian blogs in the near future…

    1. Politically correct political affiliations will get priority over anyone who is not a socialist.

  12. Anyone who says this country isn’t run by unelected bureaucrats can get stuffed.

    1. I deal with the federal government regularly in my work. So far I have yet to meet one federal employee with an IQ above 100. And that’s being generous. It is literally a case of idiots telling the experts how to do their job. They routinely joke about how politicians try to change how things work, but only succeed in creating more useless jobs. Most of these people do have a function. The function takes maybe a half hour of their day. The rest of the time is spent chatting and sleeping. It’s a joke. I’m here typing away because I’m a contractor with a pile of work to do, but I’m waiting on a bureaucrat to explicitly authorize the work to be done. I’m getting paid to do nothing because I will get fired for doing unauthorized work. It’s a fucking joke.

  13. Give that regulator a bonus!

    The Obama Administration handed out more than $400 million in awards to federal employees last year, up by more than $80 million from the prior year, according to new government data.

    The biggest winners were air traffic controllers and top managers in Washington, a review of fiscal year 2009 salary reports from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management showed.

    OPM’s data, obtained by the Asbury Park Press through a freedom of information request, account for 1.3 million employees, or about 65 percent of the federal civilian work force.

    http://www.dailyrecord.com/art…..es-in-2009

    1. Whatever we pay our public servants… it’s not enough.

  14. The only way to ensure broadband is regulated with a “light touch” is if Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank Of America get into the business.

    1. You notice they’re not in the broadband business.

  15. One thing is for certain, Genachowski just doesn’t know how to back off. The guy keeps coming back like a bad case of herpes.

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